Updated: Dec 21, 2021
"Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear."
- Patricia Fuller
I am not a fan of editing. Never have been. Never will be. I do not edit my essays for class. I am a one draft kind of gal and since I tend to have all As in my classes, I don't think that habit is going to change anytime soon.
But I am not a one draft kind of gal when it comes to my novel. I cannot be. I know that.
I am here today to say I have officially finished draft 2 of my novel The Criminal.
Actually, it was finished yesterday but I was pretty tired after finishing up those last little edits and touches and decided I didn't really feel like writing a blog post as well.
I mentioned two weeks ago that I finished the present timeline of The Criminal and that editing the past timeline was the next step. Well, I have now finished that step. It was difficult. I had to (well, didn't have to but felt it would be easier and better if I did) scrap and rewrite a heck ton of the chapters in the timeline. But I got it done and now the next draft of the book is finished.
So where do I go from here? Am I satisfied with just two drafts?
It's true, I have done some editing considering that I have taken the past timeline and rewritten portions or simply changed around a few words, grammatically corrected it, and left it as is, but for the most part, I totally rewrote this book.
The first draft was an entirely different plotline (at least in the present timeline). While the characters were the same and the book essentially started and ended the same, the middle of the book was dramatically different and each of the present timeline chapters was totally (totally) rewritten. I kept a maximum of 10 quotes from my first draft that I liked and wove into the second draft. The rest was trashed.
So while this is a second draft, it hasn't been read, looked over, read again, and shifted, changed, added to, and subtracted from. I have not done the real editing process that needs to be done to it. I have not ensured that everything is coherent and cohesive. I haven't read the chapters back to back to make sure they flow. I haven't added the level of description I want to. I haven't gone back and made sure all the characters have the same color eyes, hair, skin, etc. in every scene. Each of these things needs to be done now.
Not to mention I have my beta readers looking through it to hopefully catch what I do not.
So am I happy with 2 drafts: no.
Nor three, nor four, nor five.
In the next weeks (and months) I will be working through my chapters to ensure that they are edited and made as perfect as I can get them so that they are ready to send off to agents that I query (hopefully right after June #pitmad).
It is super exciting to finally have a working draft with a good plotline but it doesn't stop here. I keep charging on.